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MLentini
Community Participant

Markdown and Canvas

Has anyone explored using Markdown and Canvas (especially the RCE)?

I was just working up a bunch of content for a course, and thought I'd try it.  It went surprisingly well, considering the challenges I've had with other web-based rich text editors.

This was on a Mac, using basic Gruber Markdown.

  1. Write the text in your favorite text editor. (Bare Bones' TextWrangler, at the moment.)
  2. Open it in a MD preview tool. (Today it was 25.io's Mou). I suppose I could edit straight in Mou, but I use TextWrangler for lots of things, so it's just always there.
  3. Fix all the places you blew the line spacing or code.
  4. Copy the preview window. That's the one that shows the formatted text, on the right.
  5. Paste it into the rich content editor.
  6. Save it.

Headings, lists (ordered and unordered), italics, bold, tables (! - hadn't expected that) and links all transferred properly, with HTML structure intact. Lists copied with an extra paragraph tag in each list item. Sloppy, but even I'm not going to go back and fix the code in Canvas.

'</p><li><p>Log in to Canvas</p></li>' 
'<li><p>Click Help, then "Search the Canvas Guides"</p></li>'

So this just adds another context where I can use Markdown, and I suppose another way that Canvas is slick.

18 Replies
Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

Hey, MLentini, I think the Canvas Developers​ and Instructional Designers​ groups would really appreciate this content! Would you mind if I shared it to those spaces? And if I were to change the nature of your resource from a question to a discussion, so that it remains open-ended for future participation?

MLentini
Community Participant

Absolutely. I was on the fence about where to share it myself. Thanks!

Shared! Smiley Happy

MLentini
Community Participant

Thanks!

jnmaloof
Community Member

Ummm what we really need is to be able to write in a markdown editor on the canvas site, not cut and paste formatted text.

MLentini
Community Participant

I would totally vote that up. Smiley Happy

Joel_Shaver
Community Participant

I often use Markdown with Simplenote or Byword (on iOS) to write Canvas content, then copy and paste. You can use Simplenote to dynamically publish markdown to html, which can be embedded in an iframe on a Canvas page--then, you only need to change your note on Simplenote and your Canvas page updates.  The only trouble is that all links open within the iframe. Instead of writing a Markdown editor for Canvas, I'd love to see a Simplenote integration so I can stop using iframes.

MLentini
Community Participant

Oh, I'm going to try this. I'm playing with MD to Google Docs too, which would be another easy embed. Thanks for the tip. 

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

New feature idea (as of 2/6/2018): https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/10784-markdown-support